Bombardier has brought together many of the fixes for reliability problems identified during initial operations of the CRJ700 into two reliability improvement modification programme (RIMP) packages - RIMP-1 and RIMP-2. The upgrades, paid for by Bombardier, are designed to bring dispatch reliability up to the 99% industry standard. They cover a range of modifications to various systems, including hydraulics, fuel, cooling and bleed air.

RIMP-1, which was introduced last year and took five days per aircraft to implement, has been incorporated by all operators except Mesa, which is combining the two packages. Bombardier says there has been a measurable despatch reliability benefit from the programme.

The manufacturer has already flight-tested RIMP-2 and began proof-fit on customer aircraft on last month. Fuel upgrades will begin in May, and take four to seven days depending on the customer and whether a C-check is undertaken simultaneously (RIMP-2 plus C-check takes 10 days).

RIMP-2 will be implemented at Bombardier's North American modification centres in West Virginia and Tucson, and in Europe by its local maintenance partner Adria Airways.

Earlier problems with the CRJ700's engine indication and crew alerting system (EICAS) warning system giving false warnings and spurious messages, were tackled by a software upgrade - dubbed EICAS 5 - which was implemented in 2002.

Source: Flight International